Monday's Frosty Mug: Four loss-free days

USA TODAY Sports

The Brewers are 38-56 after the first half, but at least they can't lose again until Friday. We're talking about the break and more in today's news roundup.

Some things to read while keeping at it.

The Brewers avoided a four game sweep in Arizona yesterday with a 5-1 win over the Diamondbacks to go into the All Star break on a positive note. Noah has the recap, if you missed it.

One of the highlights of the last few weeks for the Brewers has to be the play of Wily Peralta, who was on again yesterday. He pitched seven innings and allowed a single run on seven hits, walking two and striking out eight. The home run he allowed yesterday snapped a 19.1 inning scoreless streak (Twitter link). He's dropped his ERA from 6.08 to 4.61 in his last five appearances.

Peralta also got some help from Jean Segura, who was on base four times with three hits and a walk. Segura enters the All Star break with 121 hits on the season, the second most ever for a Brewer (Twitter link). Peralta is also our reigning Brewer of the Week, making it the third consecutive week a pitcher has won.

Other notes from the field:

After the game yesterday the Brewers made an expected roster move, returning Khris Davis to Nashville. Ryan Braun is expected to be activated from the bereavement list sometime between now and the first game of the Marlins series on Friday. Travel issues delayed Davis' arrival with the team and he made just one plate appearance during his short second major league stint, striking out as a pinch hitter on Friday.

Let's put a bow on the Diamondbacks series with a look at the weekend's home runs, with help from Hit Tracker and Wezen-ball (Thursday, Saturday and Sunday):

Day Player Distance Trot Time Video
Sunday Logan Schafer 387 feet 19.29 seconds Video
Saturday Jonathan Lucroy 412 feet 19.26 seconds Video
Friday No home runs
Thursday Jonathan Lucroy 445 feet 20.03 seconds Video
Thursday Carlos Gomez 407 feet 17.57 seconds Video

Yesterday's win left the Brewers at 38-56 at the All Star break, and 24-45 since May 1. The challenges of managing a losing team for the first time sound like they're starting to wear on Ron Roenicke, who said this to reporters:

"It hasn't been as fun, and it hasn't been as easy," Roenicke said of managing this year's Brewers, his third season at the helm. "It's a lot more thought into it; it's way more conversations. Way more challenges."

Roenicke wanted the challenge of being a manager when he decided he wanted to guide a team.

"I don't know if I wanted this much," he said.

The Brewers resume play on Friday, when Kyle Lohse is scheduled to take the mound against Jacob Turner and the Marlins at Miller Park. Zack Meisel has the very early MLB.com preview. Lohse will lead the second half rotation, followed by Yovani Gallardo on Saturday.

Before that, though, a couple of Brewers have some business to attend to in New York. Carlos Gomez tweeted a picture last night of himself boarding a plane to the All Star Game, where he and Jean Segura will represent the Crew tomorrow night.

Assuming they get a chance to bat, Gomez and Segura will become the 29th and 30th Brewers to make a plate appearance in the All Star Game. High Heat Stats notes that the Brewers are currently tied for 19th all time with 28 players on that list.

Yuniesky Betancourt and the rest of the Brewers, on the other hand, get a few days off. AZ Snakepit has Yuni as the starting first baseman on their "Fail Stars" team. (FanShot) Over the weekend Fred made a "final" plea to the Brewer front office to release Betancourt, although I think it's likely we'll have time to make more pleas.

I know we're all sick of talking and reading about Yuni, but I think he's become a symbol for a Brewer front office that appears to be mailing in the rest of this season. I think Fred nailed my sentiment on the issue in this sentence:

Basically - I see Yuniesky Betancourt, and I feel the organization has given up. And that's not a good feeling.

Moving on to happier topics, Cheeseandcorn had some fun with maps this weekend and took a look at the routes various Brewer pitchers have taken to get to Milwaukee. In other news, Michael Gonzalez was the inspiration for the song "I've been everywhere."

The Brewers may be off this week, but the trade rumor mill takes no breaks this time of year. Today's trade deadline note comes from Jose M. Romero of MLB.com, who says Norichika Aoki is flattered by teams' interest in acquiring him before the trade deadline.

While the Brewers were in Arizona this weekend they got a visit from local resident and veteran rehabber Corey Hart, who recently had his second surgery. Hart talked to reporters for the first time in weeks and said all the right things about a possible return to Milwaukee in 2014, even mentioning things like a potential pay cut or incentive-laden deal.

In the minors:

  • The Brewers have added a couple of veterans on minor league deals: Outfielder Eric Patterson is 30, most recently played in the majors as a 2011 Padre and was hitting .275/.342/.527 for York in the independent Atlantic League. Micah Owings, meanwhile, is a former major league pitcher probably better known for his hitting, and will work as both a pitcher and outfielder in the minors.
  • Jimmy Nelson represented the Brewers well in yesterday's All Star Futures Game. He pitched a scoreless inning with a walk and a double play. (Twitter link) Keith Law predicts Nelson will be a "solid back end starter." (Twitter link)
  • Marty Noble of MLB.com saw Nelson pitch yesterday and wrote a story about the big pitcher's 6'6" frame.
  • Elsewhere on the field, the affiliates went 2-3 yesterday and Jorge Lopez allowed just one run on three hits over seven innings in Wisconsin's 4-3 loss to Lake County. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
  • Chris Mehring of Rattler Radio has more from Wisconsin's loss.
  • Speaking of Wisconsin, Johnny Hellweg will be on the mound for their 12:05 start today and I'll have all the details in the Timber Rattlers Notebook.
  • Mike Sherry of the Appleton Post Crescent talked to Jim Callis of Baseball America about the state of the Brewer organization and came away with a pretty depressing analysis. (h/t @Mass_Haas)
  • Tyrone Taylor, however, has been one of this year's few bright spots. John Sickels of Minor League Ball says he would've invited the Wisconsin outfielder to the Futures Game.
  • Nashville broadcaster Jeff Hem has an interview with Sounds outfielder Kentrail Davis.

Around baseball:

Astros: Signed second baseman Jose Altuve to a four-year, $12.5 million contract extension with club options for 2018 and 2019.
Braves: Placed outfielder B.J. Upton on the DL with a right adductor strain.
Cubs: Designated pitcher Henry Rodriguez for assignment and claimed outfielder Cole Gillespie off waivers from the Giants.
Giants: Designated pitcher Chris Heston for assignment.
Orioles: Designated pitcher Jair Jurrjens for assignment.
Padres: Designated infielder Pedro Ciriaco for assignment.
Phillies: Placed outfielder Ben Revere on the DL with a broken foot.
Pirates: Acquired first baseman/outfielder Russ Canzler from the Orioles for a minor league pitcher.
Red Sox: Acquired pitcher Matt Thornton from the White Sox for a minor leaguer.
Royals: Designated pitcher J.C. Gutierrez for assignment.
Tigers: Signed pitcher Jeremy Bonderman to a minor league deal.

The Orioles move mentioned above cleared a roster spot for former Brewer spring training invitee Jairo Asencio. He was traded to Baltimore at the end of spring training and has a 2.15 ERA in 34 relief appearances in AAA.

Let's go around the NL Central:

  • The Cardinals finished off a four game series split with a 10-6 win over the Cubs last night. St. Louis had 21 hits in the game, including four in the ninth inning as they rallied to win.
  • The Pirates took two of three from the Mets this weekend but missed a chance for a sweep when they lost 4-2 yesterday. Dillon Gee held Pittsburgh to a single unearned run on five hits over 6.2 innings.
  • The Reds wrapped up a four game split with the Braves with an 8-4 win yesterday. Jay Bruce finished a triple shy of the cycle in the victory.
  • The Brewers, of course, avoided a sweep in Arizona with a 5-1 win.

Here are today's updated standings and a look at each team's All Star representatives:

Team W L GB All Stars
Cardinals 57 36 -- Carlos Beltran, Matt Carpenter, Allen Craig, Yadier Molina, Edward Mujica and Adam Wainwright
Pirates 56 37 1 Pedro Alvarez, Jason Grilli, Jeff Locke, Andrew McCutchen, Mark Melancon
Reds 53 42 5 Aroldis Chapman, Brandon Phillips, Joey Votto
Cubs 42 51 15 Travis Wood
Brewers 38 56 19.5 Carlos Gomez, Jean Segura

Today in former Brewers: Until this season Dave Nilsson had been the only Australian player ever selected to the All Star Game. A's pitcher Grant Balfour recently became the second. (Twitter link)

This has nothing to do with the Brewers but I'm linking it anyway, because it's the coolest thing I've seen today. Old Time Family Baseball has a link to a ~5 minute mini-documentary of the events that led to the production of the "Marco Scutaro Rain Globe" the Giants are giving away this season. As a bonus, the video prominently features Grant Brisbee of McCovey Chronicles and Baseball Nation fame.

Today in Brewer History was off this morning, but here are today's bits of history:

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to find a place for these.

Drink up.

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